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Full molt (moult) at 8 months old?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Yay Chicks!, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay. So, a while back I wrote about my Buff Orpington who suddenly stopped laying. I thought perhaps she was eggbound at first, and even though she was still acting healthy, I did the warm bath thing and all. Oh, well. That wasn't the case. But now, it's been about a month since she's laid. She is still eating, drinking, scratching around. However, she looks now like she molting. She's missing her longest tail feathers and a lot of her neck feathers. Pretty darn scruffy looking. No one else is pulling them out, but I did see herself appear to be picking some lower neck feathers out. Normal at 8 months to be in a full molt? Normal to be picking her own feathers out? The other three are laying and look fine. Thanks.

    Oh, and the have free access to layer feed (no recent changes in food), grit and oyster shell. They also get treats of dried meal worm and BOSS, occasionally yogurt, and greens. They have had a little bit of corn scratch in the late afternoon recently, but not all that much. Fresh water with ACV always.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  3. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Forest Grove, OR
    Thanks. I'll check her out tomorrow. I guess I would have expected symptoms from all of them.

    Any other ideas, anybody?
     
  4. rainierlass

    rainierlass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definitely do a check for lice......thought my Welsummers were moulting too.......they were the only ones in my 8 mo. old flock that were losing feathers - checked them for re-growth of feathers and found the lil buggers.....
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, they can molt at that age. Last year I had 2 9 month old chickens molt. On the plus side, when they start laying again, the eggs are bigger!
     
  6. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Forest Grove, OR
    This morning I picked her up and thoroughly checked her vent area for bugs. When I checked her neck area there were also no bugs but it does look like there are feather shafts with new feathers getting ready to pop out. It does appear to be molting. I'll keep checking her, but for now, I'm relieved. Thank you all for the input!
     
  7. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I'm reviving this post because this seems weird, but maybe it's not. Now it appears that one of my EEs has joined in the molt. When I just went out to clean the poop board I found a bunch of her feathers all over the place. I keep checking them all for lice, but there are no eggs on the feather shaft and nothing is moving. They are acting normally still. And the Buff does appear to be getting some replacement feather on her neck (which looks like a pin cushion). But, hey (!), it's December now! And, although it's mild today (40s) it's going to get colder.
    I've read a couple of the links to the molting articles and this seems like an odd age for molting...and kind of late. They have had no recent stressors...everything is the same as it ever was.
    I've upped their protein intake - a little tuna, more BOSS and mealworms...
    Has anyone else reading this experienced this significant a molt at this time of year with birds this age without any big stressors?

    ****NEVER MIND***** I just re-read the post about the 9 month olds that were molting....so I guess it's not outside the realm of "normal". Still....dumb time of year to shed their down jackets!
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Last year mine molted in the middle of December. We had a few days of 14 degree nights, and they were fine.
     
  9. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, Happy Chooks!
     

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